There are little avenues for Singaporeans to show displeasure with what the government is doing.
CPF withdrawal age was raised from 55 to 65. And instead of taking out the full sum, Singaporeans need to take it out in drips.
Good or bad, it's up to each person to determine.
But I compare it against what happened in France. The people went on strike/protest when the government wanted to increase the age of the pension of some classes of government workers.
Everyone has different views on strikes and protests in France.
But one thing is... the people will stand up for what they believe in and people have an avenue to express their displeasure of the government policy.
It's not always about voting the existing party out. Maybe most of the policies are ok, but some of the policies are not ok, but yet Singaporeans have little way to express their displeasure, and neither do Singaporeans know how to express their displeasure.
It's not just yes, I voted the government I want, and I have to trust them wholeheartedly and accept all their policies.
Or NO, vote them out...
It should be... I voted this government, I trust them to generally make good decisions about the future of Singapore, but this particular policy of theirs is terrible and Singaporeans should have a way to express their dissatisfaction about it.
I'm just using CPF and the pension retirement dates as an example. What I'm trying to put across is... Singaporeans, don't have a way to express displeasure, or don't know how, or can't be bothered to.
Singapore's implementation of the law on fake news. Now, personally, I feel this is a dangerous step.
The thing is, it is possible for misuse for a future government to use this law to block any news that they don't like to be exposed.
This is the reason why freedom of speech is important. The whole idea of freedom of speech is for people to be free to speak, but it is for the listener to determine what is true or not.
Unfortunately, many people don't fact check news that they see on the internet.
Due to mounting controversy over theology, astronomy and philosophy, the Roman Inquisition tried Galileo in 1633 and found him "vehemently suspect of heresy", sentencing him to indefinite imprisonment.
With the power to control news... Fake news or not... a government could use it to potentially tell you that the Sun revolved around the Earth. Which is what Galileo was persecuted for. Cos he said that the Earth revolved around the Sun, and he was accused of heresy.
This disturbs me, cos who knows what kind of government we may have in future? And how this law could be used to control or mislead the people?
I'm sure the current government has good intentions with this law. Cos in truth, very little people fact check about the stuff they read online. So I can understand why this law was put in place.
However, history around the world has also taught us, that sometimes, the best of intentions could be heavily misused in the future.
Singapore satellite ERP system.
The government can track you. Do you want that?
Once again, most people don't think about it. Cos the current government is pretty ok.
But what happens in the future? With this system, a government could potentially track anyone within Singapore.
China has a strong facial recognition system. Apparently, they can find people and arrest them on short notice.
Remember, don't just think about this issue using the situation and environment Singapore is in today.
Think about the future... what happens if some future government abuses it?
Singapore has a lack of a robust opposition party or sufficient checks and balances.
Singapore has NO OTHER CHOICE. THAT is a big issue.
50 years from now, I'll still be alive, but how confident am I that the government at that point in time is run by competent people?
It is a great risk to Singapore that Singapore does not have a strong opposition party.
All our eggs are in one basket.
US government has the White house, the House, the Senate, and they are supposed to be independent and have checks and balances on each other. Is it a perfect system? No, not really, cos people still vote along party lines.
BUT... there still is a system AND the citizens can vote members into the House, or Senate, and with enough votes, remove a President.
Singapore doesn't really have this.
We don't have an opposition party, the President who has a ceremonial role, but is supposed to be a gate keeper, has relations to the current ruling party. Not to mention the fiasco that the government can change the criteria to be President anytime they wish.
Is this important immediately? Maybe not. But in 50 years? These current laws may be the stepping stone of a future government which misuses it's power.
I think the thing is... many Singaporeans feel hopeless about this, and maybe rightly so.
They can't make any noise about it, or maybe they feel that any noise raised has fallen on deaf ears.
Do I have answers for these concerns? Nope...
Are protests and strikes the best way? I don't know.
I see the French and HK and I see the protests are really a show of power by the people.
That the people HAVE power. Not some powerless citizens.
OR... like in America, where there is a strong opposition and various lawmakers who challenge different laws and policies. It's important to have a strong opposition party or various government layers so that power is less likely to be abused.
Singapore is a small country. It IS easier to fail as a small country. Bigger countries can have failed states but overall the whole country could still succeed. Singapore is a city state. There is really little room for mistakes.
Singapore is 50+ years old. It has seen 3 Prime Ministers.
In 50 years time, we may see 3 more.
Will the 6th Prime Minister have the same qualities and foresight as our first?
Will our future government be able to maintain Singapore's position in the world?
It's like a monopoly in economics.
Without competition, there is a potential that the monopoly might get complacent and performance in the long run may get worse.
Nope, I don't have answers to this, but I am concerned about Singapore's future in the long run.
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